An overlap of seasonal activities this weekend makes the standard appeals for highway and recreational safety even more urgent.

Texans are poised to celebrate the final three-day holiday of the summer with a variety of activities, and you donít have to be planning something out of the ordinary to be exposed to the possibility of some type of harm.

For starters, itís the first weekend of the high school football season, and thousands of vehicles will be on highways to follow their favorite teams.

Meanwhile, dove hunters are on the move this weekend, traveling to the places where they plan to participate in the opening days of that season.

On top of all that, this is the Labor Day weekend, and many families will be using the Monday holiday to enjoy their summer vacations one last time.

The most important plea from the Texas Highway Patrol involves the danger of driving and driving. All available state troopers, and many local law enforcement officers, will be on duty this weekend to protect the public from the threat these motorists pose.

During the Labor Day weekend last year, Department of Public Safety troopers arrested 887 people across the state for driving while intoxicated. Even on the first offense, the punishment for a DWI conviction is a fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or a jail term of 72 hours to 180 days; participation in an alcohol education and treatment program even if probation is granted; and license suspension from three months to one year.

Labor Day is a particularly dangerous time, statistically, even compared to other holiday weekends. The National Safety Council says the average number of traffic fatalities during the six most recent Labor Day holiday periods was more than 13 percent higher than similar non-holiday periods.

Whether youíre on the highway, a lake or just across town to a game, itís important to wear seat belts and for the driver to be sober. That will help make Labor Day a happier time for all.

Brownwood Bulletin